The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the tag “chicago”

Chicago combines libraries with affordable housing

seems like a great idea


a good article describing the extent of the homeless problem in Chicago

New Police Chief in St. Louis

St. Louis has gone through a long and consulted process to find a new police chief. Who knows why it has taken so long. I read information about the remaining candidates in the Post Dispatch over the weekend. I was disappointed to see that they are all mediocre at best and some seem terrible. One gentleman received a vote of no confidence from the police officers of his home community.

I supposed it is not surprising St. Louis is facing this dilemma. Why would a top notch candidate come here to face the exceptional crap that goes down. Crime is really high but if the police get aggressive in solving crime they are criticized. A refreshing approach would be to do as Chicago did many years ago and reach out to academia for someone. Chicago hired OW Wilson who turned the department around even though the cops hated him. Maybe we should try the same thing. Written by Paul Dribin

Measurement of School Districts

I read a fascinating article in the New York Times which verified my thoughts about measuring educational progress. The success of school districts has been typically measured in terms of average test scores. This gives a distorted view of school districts with low income students who often start school behind the eight ball.

Research has now shown that the most meaningful measurement of progress is to measure the starting test scores and the ending test scores five years later. The progress is what is considered most important. The best performing school districts get students up to grade level in five years. I always thought the most meaningful accomplishment was for each student to demonstrate marked improvement. Interestingly, the Chicago School District had the best record in the country by this metric.

Written by Paul Dribin

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